The free and open-source network monitoring software Nagios Core has a long and strong reputation, providing the base for other monitoring suites – Icinga, Naemon and OP5 among them – and a history dating back to 2002 when it launched under the name NetSaint.

For this review we tested Nagios Core version 4.4.2 for Linux, which monitors common network services such as HTTP, SMTP, POP3, NNTP and PING.

There’s a Windows port that’s a plugin, but many users say it’s unstable. The version we tested also tracks the usage of host resources such as processor load, memory and disk utilization.

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Hardware requirements vary depending on the number and types of items being monitored, but generally speaking Nagios recommends a server configuration with at least two or four cores, 4-8 GB of RAM and adequate storage for the intended application.

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